As a huge relief to all taxpayers, the Centre has extended the deadline for filing their first Goods and Service Tax (GST) returns and moved it to August 28; giving eight extra days to small businessmen who still have issues with cash flows.

Under GST regime, all business had to file their first GST return on the portal of GST Network by 20 August, but the Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC) has extended the deadline for taxpayers claiming input tax credit on transition (pre-GST) stocks to file the first interim returns for July by a week to August 28. However, the relaxation is made available for those taxpayers who claim transitional input tax credits and they will require to pay taxes by 20 August; while they can file return before August 28 – a partial relaxation.

The relaxation is only for the taxpayers who want to use opening balance of pre-GST credit in the current month and for those who don’t want to use the opening credit in August or do not have credit, the deadline continues to be August 20. And the ones who can claim the extended version have to submit Form TRANS I after estimating transitional credit and Form 3B. As per the statement of CBEC, “In case of shortfall in the amount already paid vis-a-vis the amount payable on submission of Form 3B, the same will have to be paid with interest of 18 percent for the period between August 21, 2017, till the payment of such differential amount”.

Initially, the government has allowed businessmen to pay self-assessed tax returns for July and August on the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) portal by filling the GSTR 3B form. Till date, over 71.30 lakh excise, service tax and VAT payers have migrated to the GSTN portal but considering the remaining 30% businesses still pending to file their returns – mostly the small businesses, the government has extended the deadlines.